Andrea Vaccaro, Naples 1598 - 1670 Naples

  • Andrea Vaccaro

    Naples 1598 - 1670 Naples

Andrea Vaccaro was one of the most versatile painters in seventeenth-century Naples. While he initially studied literature, he soon turned his attention to painting, forging an adaptable style which responded ably to new artistic developments and to the changing tastes of his era. As a young artist, he fast became an acolyte of Caravaggio. From 1620, he copied many of the master’s canvases then in situ in Naples, in other instances adapted his compositions, and fully embraced the Lombard master’s pioneering naturalism and dramatic chiaroscuro. After about a decade working in this mode, Vaccaro began to seek inspiration from other artists, including Guido Reni, Anthony van Dyck, and Pietro Novelli, providing copies of their works to Neapolitan collectors and dealers. From 1635 he began exporting many of his works to Spain for religious orders and aristocratic patrons, and around this time his style began to adhere closely to the classicism of Reni, Domenichino, and Poussin, a development softened in the 1640s under the influence of Bernardo Cavallino. At the end of his career, Vaccaro adopted the dazzling colors of Luca Giordano and to the flickering, theatrical light of Mattia Preti.


Andrea Vaccaro
Judith with the Head of Holofernes, c. 1620s
Oil on canvas
127.5 x 101 cm (50 1/4 x 39 3/4 in.)
With frame: 149 x 126 x 6.5 cm (58 5/8 x 49 5/8 x 2 1/2 in.)